Chesterwell are well-represented in the last eight

Ian Donaldson's efforts were in vain as Thrapston lost to WDHA Knightriders
Ian Donaldson's efforts were in vain as Thrapston lost to WDHA Knightriders

Four Chesterwell clubs will make up half of the teams left in the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League’s Challenge Trophy, sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd.

Chesterwell D earned a hard-fought 425-397 win at Wanderers D.

Most games were close to handicap but the clinching factor was in the seventh game when Daniel Mann, in a fine performance, scored a remarkable 4-0 victory when winning out 11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9 over Graham Babbage.

Game nine saw Roger Ellingham restrict David Carrigan to 23 points but this still left the hosts 33 behind at the doubles and Ellingham/Babbage only gained another five points against Mann and Carrigan.

An all-Chesterwell clash, the B side sealed a 416-386 victory over the C team.

The performance of the night came in game six when Carlton Ellwood restricted a below-par Clare Coles to 13 points in an 11-1, 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 victory.

For the lower ranked side, Maxine Shears did well in sharing with both Luke Hughes and Graham Ellson but went down 8-11, 11-9, 10-11, 3-11 to Ellwood.

St John A were without Grant Timms and faced a tremendous handicap and they put up a fine fight before bowing out 458-400 to Chesterwell E.

In the context, every point was vital and the match hinged on games two and three where the visitors gained 34 points.

Gavin Birmingham was the star performer in his 22-point haul, losing out 5-11, 5-11, 9-11, 3-11 to Pete Boustred.

Despite restricting the visitors to below double figures in six of the games, the first division side bowed out by 18 points.

Chesterwell A belied their poor cup record of the last few years with a surprisingly easy 439-390 win over Old Grammarians A.

Phil Lawrence gained the hosts’ only leg of the night in an 11-10, 5-11, 2-11, 6-11 defeat to Valdi Papiernik and the 24 points gained proved to be the highlight of the night.

Highlight of an impressive performance throughout for the visitors was in game six where Stan Galkowski restricted Pranab Mohanty to eight points, winning out 11-3, 11-2, 11-0, 11-3.

A clash between two well-matched teams saw Stanwick beat Higham Harriers C 391-350.

Most games were closely fought but Geoff Neville was in excellent form, winning 40 points on the night, which was virtually the winning margin.

His 11-3, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11 and 11-10, 10-11, 11-3, 11-4 wins over Craig Hartwell and David Cowl respectively saw the hosts 36 points ahead at the doubles and Neville rounded off an excellent effort alongside Kevin Tivey as they claimed a further five points against.

A fiercely contested match between Wanderers E and WDHA Superkings was probably decided in games two, six and nine where a below par Dev Patel conceded a massive 117 points which was more than his team-mates combined.

Abin Islam and Virat Patel tried hard to repair the damage with 11-5, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 and 11-4, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3 wins over Derek Shears and Steve Hoole respectively.

But 37 behind at the doubles, Virat Patel and Islam fought hard to reduce the deficit and won out 11-2, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 over David May and Derek Shears but it still meant Wanderers triumphed 433-418.

Keith Stockley is normally in top form in the cup and he followed precedent by winning all his games and gaining 38 points in the process.

Unfortunately, his Higham Band A team-mates could not follow suit, with Fred Sorrell actually dropping points as they were beaten 453-380 by WDHA Challengers.

Any chance the hosts may have had was squashed when, in a poor display, Sorrell went down 2-11, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11 to Kyle Ghanie in game five.

With Nigel Magee also well below par, the hosts were well beaten by 73 points.

Thrapston were faced with a massive handicap against struggling Division Three side WDHA Knightriders and the two Ians - Baldock and Donaldson - put in a tremendous performance which deserved better than the 466-440 loss.

Unfortunately, the need to limit opponents to very low scores does not suit the hard hitting and somewhat erratic Chris Warliker and his dropping of 30 extra points to his colleagues saw the visitors win out by 26 points.

The best performance for the visitors came in game six as Rishan Ganatra gained 19 points in his 6-11, 6-11, 3-11, 4-11 defeat to Warliker.

Results: St John A (0) 440 Chesterwell E (rec 360) 458, Higham Band A (0) 380 WDHA Challengers (rec 125) 453, Thrapston (0) 440 WDHA Knightriders (rec 360) 466, Wanderers D (0) 397 Chesterwell D (rec 105) 425, Chesterwell B 416 (0) Chesterwell C (rec 140) 386, Stanwick VHTTC (0) 391 Higham Harriers C (0) 350, Wanderers E 433 (rec 180) WDHA Superkings (0) 418, Old Grammarians A (rec 220) 390 Chesterwell A (0) 439.